free market is not the answer
Posted Oct 18, 2006 22:14 UTC (Wed) by man_ls
In reply to: free market is not the answer
Parent article: FSF should separate GPLv3 changes (Linux.com)
Yeah, the court of public opinion has chosen Windows, iPod (73% market share) and AOL (19% market share, #1 ISP with difference). Have you bought your copy of Oracle yet?
Your reply doesn't seem to take into account the increasing success of FOSS, and companies built upon it.
Yeah right. The most visible "FOSS" (what a horrible acronym), i.e. libre program is probably Firefox, and the most extended; it has been competing with Internet Explorer for ages, it is free (as in beer) as the competition, but also libre, there is a buoyant company behind it and it is the direct descendant of Netscape which in 1994 was the only reasonable choice. And IE has had the most horrible track record in performance, bugs and security that you can imagine; as to marketing Microsoft is now a convicted monopolist because of it. Yet last month our "FOSS" champion had 11 or 12% market share
, depending on who you believe. Great success in the "court of public opinion". Reasonableness indeed.
The free market is an economic mechanism, which must be nurtured and kept within bounds constantly through regulation. Its effect is to lower prices and improve efficiency. It doesn't choose technologies or morals; it just goes with the cheapest option. When two $0 options meet, convenience seems to win every time.
Let's stop attributing human qualities to an economic phenomenon, please. We might try to make something other than money drive us for a change.
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